A mediocre offense, combined with the mediocre goaltending of Semyon Varlamov this season sent Colorado spiraling out of control early in the season. Colorado is young, but youth isn’t always an excuse for immaturity, and Jean-Sébastien Giguère voiced his opinion on that early this season. But that’s another story for another day.
The Avalanche finished the season with 16 wins and 39 points. Colorado brought up the end of the Western Conference, and only the Florida Panthers had less points. The goal differential this season of -36 is a prime example of how this team played. The lack of offense, and the lack of defense on top of a lack of offense is never a good combination.
The Avalanche are lead by forwards P.A. Parenteau and Matt Duchene. Parenteau totaled a team high 18 goals this season and added 25 assists to go along with them. Duchene added 17 goals to the chart for the Aves this year and added a team high 26 assists as well. Parenteau put up a bit more offense than most may have suspected when Colorado brought him in last off-season, and he helped propel youngster Matt Duchene in the scoring column. Duchene is young and has plenty of upside and he bounced back from a less than stellar sophomore season.
The off-season has been a busy one in Colorado already, the firing of head coach Joe Sacco, and the hiring of Colorado’s own goaltending legend, Patrick Roy. Roy has been coaching the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL for the passed few seasons. He was hired in 2005 by the Remparts GM, who happened to be Patrick Roy. The owner of the team was also very happy about the decision, being that Patrick Roy himself owned the team. Even if Roy hired himself, it doesn’t matter how he got the job because it worked for him. He has had success coaching in the juniors and now has a chance to bring it to the NHL level with the team he played 8 seasons with.
The Avalanche have a few unrestricted free agents coming up this season that include veteran Milan Hejduk who has played all 14 seasons for the Avalanche. Hejduk is also accompanied by forward Chuck Kobasew, and forward David Van Der Gulik. Colorado won’t be missing too many pieces come next season. The three of them are all role players that never saw a full season in Colorado. It’s hard to see the Aves resigning these guys, Hejduk has been around the franchise for a long time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was resigned for that reason.
Who knows, maybe with the addition of the Avalanche’s new ice girls, the team may step up and blow us all away. I don’t see that happening but Mr. Roy can do his best to prove me wrong, and when the Aves win the Western Conference next season, I’ll be the first to stand up and congratulate them and say I was wrong, although there will probably be a very large number of us standing and saying the same thing at once, because it’s a long shot to say the least. Good luck Colorado.